Hugh Dennis, actor, comedian, writer, impressionist and star of ‘Outnumbered’ and ‘Mock the Week’, is a talented and captivating after dinner speaker and awards host, and is currently writing and presenting Radio 4′s award winning comedy ‘The Now Show’. His partnership with Steve Punt is legendary in the comedy world.

Background and career

While in his final year of university, by this time an active member of the Cambridge Footlights, Hugh was approached by a member of the intelligence services and invited to London for interview. At this point he decided not to take the matter further, although he often makes jokes or references to his days as a ‘spy’. After originally working as a brand manager for Unilever, Hugh turned a talent for impressions to better use and started providing voices for Spitting Image. He then became a regular guest on the Jasper Carott Show and joined the team on The Mary Whitehouse Experience, before his performing career kicked off in 1985 when he became one half of double act Punt and Dennis, with Steve Punt, with whom he still tours the UK.

His radio work with Punt includes over a decade of performing Punt and Dennis, It’s Been a Bad Week, The Party Line and the currently running satirical radio comedy show, The Now Show. On The Now Show he is in a line-up including Punt, Mitch Benn, Laura Shavin, Jon Holmes and Marcus Brigstocke. He is friends with Chris Morris and has had cameos on Brass Eye. He has also done the narration for the CBBC show Sam and Mark’s Guide To Dodging Disasters.

In December 2009, Hugh joined Oz Clarke in presenting the 60-minute Christmas special Oz and Hugh Drink to Christmas broadcast on BBC Two. In December 2010 the pair returned for a four-part series called Oz and Hugh Raise the Bar, which puts them in a competition to create a bar featuring only local British food and drinks.

He has starred in a number of sitcoms, including My Hero in which he played obnoxious GP Piers Crispin. From 2007 to 2014 he starred in Outnumbered, a semi-improvised sitcom based around family life and won a BAFTA nomination in the comedy category for the 2009 Christmas special.  Hugh is a regular panellist on Mock the Week and has appeared in every episode since its inception. He is a regular guest on various BBC-broadcast comedy panel game shows such as They Think It’s All Over, Would I Lie To You?, QI and has guest hosted Have I Got News for You. In 2011, he hosted the short-lived improvisational comedy series Fast and Loose. Hugh alongside Julia Bradbury hosted a four-part BBC One documentary series The Great British Countryside, which began airing on 16 February 2012

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